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HDNet Sues Over $5 Upper HD Tier

All-HD, all-the-time channel HDNet has filed suit against DBS firm DirecTV for planning to move billionaire Mark Cuban’s HD venue to a higher tier that will cost HD subscribers about $5 extra per month. Currently DirecTV has far more subs signed up for its other packages, some of which already include several dozen HD outlets.

The legal action undertaken by HDNet, which has received some national attention in the past year because it is the current home of former CBS anchor Dan Rather, was filed in District Court in Dallas. The suit alleges that DirecTV is in violation of a carriage agreement with HDNet if it shifts the channel (and a second Cuban service, HDNet Movies) to the DBS firm’s “HD Extra Pack” tier.

That extra- premium tier is in addition to the 70-something HD channels already available to DirecTV subs (albeit for an extra $10 monthly), and unfairly segregates HDNet from its fellow HD brethren on the DBS firm’s most popular HD menu, according to HDNet. The suit also says the higher HD tier created by DirecTV is “obscure and overpriced.”

DirecTV has rebuffed the merits of the suit and denied it is in any violation of the standing agreement with HDNet.